One day, as Jesus was finishing His prayer time, one of His disciples came to Him and said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” Jesus said, “When you pray, say our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, as in heaven so in earth” Luke 11:1-2.
Scripture doesn’t tell us which disciple sought praying instruction from Jesus, but it is easy to see how wise this inquisitor was.
He had seen Jesus pray; he had seen the consistency of His prayer life, and he witnessed the results. He wanted to learn from the Master, Jesus Himself.
We would be wise to pray the same prayer today.
Lord, teach me what it means to pray, teach me to pray in such a way that my prayers are answered, teach me both the priority and power of prayer. Thank You Jesus. Amen.
There is more than one lesson to learn from the interaction between Jesus and the teachable disciple.
Jesus said, “When you pray. . . .” not, “If you pray.” Jesus expects you to have a dynamic, powerful prayer life.
“When you pray…”
Jesus said, “You pray.” It is good to seek prayer from others; however, you must be careful not to become a professional “pray for me” person. Discovering the secret of prayer for yourself is imperative. Follow Scripture’s example and be like the teachable disciple; ask Jesus to teach you. My posts 6 Steps to Getting Started as a Prayer Warrior and Kinds of Prayer for your Circumstances may be helpful in getting started.
Certainly there will be times when you call on others for prayer support, yet it is good to consider these prayers supplemental. Depending on others all the time for your prayer requests takes away from your relationship with Christ and limits the power from God in your life.
“When you pray say. . . .”
Jesus didn’t respond with, “When you pray, think.” Silent prayer is more than acceptable. However, Jesus taught you to realize the power in your prayers you must not only “think-a-prayer” you must say your prayers out loud. By speaking your prayers out loud, you avoid a wandering mind and will experience increased power in your prayers.
One day, I told Mary Jo I was going into the bedroom to pray. After reading my Bible for a bit, my eyes grew very heavy. At this point, I decided to begin praying. It seemed to be too much effort even to whisper, so I closed my eyes and tried to “think” my prayer. Later my Mary Jo woke me up and jestingly asked how my prayers were coming. I joked, “Oh my! I’m praying so well today that I’m having visions.” In the process of “thinking” my prayers, I had drifted off into such a sound sleep I found myself dreaming.
Just as a PA system in a supermarket will override the regular background music, our spoken words will override our cares, troubles, and nagging to-do lists. To avoid distraction for the most potent prayer, speak your prayers out loud.